Race in America – Real Talk

jeremiahwright.jpgpatb.jpgQuite frankly, I’m tired of hearing about Barack Obama and his pastor. However, I do think that maybe it has opened a door to revealing people’s real feelings about race in America.

Many black people found it hard to understand the big fuss over Reverend Wright’s comments. He didn’t really say much that was factually inaccurate (although of course people will debate his assertions on HIV) and to be honest he didn’t say much that many other black people have not said before. I guess what happened in this case is that stuff is that is usually said behind closed doors became public property. However, regardless of whether or not one agrees with Rev Wright, I’m glad that the wider public is now aware of some of the thoughts and feelings that some black people have about race.

I was pretty disgusted by the comments made by MSNBC political commentator Pat Buchanan in a blog post of his entitled “A Brief For Whitey”A Brief For Whitey was his response to Obama’s speech on race. Buchanan wrote – in all seriousness – “…no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream“. He then goes on to ask “Where is the gratitude?”

I wanted to ask him “are you f***ing serious?! But you know what? Yes he is. And, just as Reverend Wright’s comments are representative of the thoughts and feelings of some of the African American community, Buchanan’s comments are also representative of the thoughts and feelings of some white people.

I don’t agree with Buchanan, but it’s important to hear what he has to say because it’s only once we are able to have really honest discussions about race – including hearing some of the viewpoints that we find offensive, extreme or even abhorrent – that change will really come.

Part of the problem with race-related discussions is that people do not feel able to say what they really want to say, and this leads to resentment. We don’t deal with race head on by tip toeing around the issue and only saying what people want to hear. I always say that I’m less afraid of people who are only openly racist than those who say they aren’t, but spout their bigoted views in private.

So let’s have more of this real talk. Let everyone get their real views off their chest and then let’s start addressing them.

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4 thoughts on “Race in America – Real Talk

  1. Read what Pat B wrote again. He’s right you know. It’s time for everyone to let go of the race card and start living lives of character and hard work – quit complaining, get off the couch, be respectful to everyone (Black and White) and put something in society instead of taking something out all the time.

    Peace of God to you.

  2. “First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.”

    After a paragraph filled with such BS, why bother reading any further?

  3. Hi Paul – I’m sorry but I can’t agree with you on that one. If it were as simple as everyone “getting up off the couch”, don’t you think that would have happened by now? I agree with people taking personal responsibility, but people will only ‘let go of the race card’ when they are no longer affected by it.

  4. and Paul… do you really believe that people who were forcibly taken from their home lands in chains and enslaved in another country, and then legally subjugated and treated as inferior should feel grateful??!!Grateful for what exactly? Black people are human beings and it is our human right to be entitled to equal opportunities. Why should black people be grateful for being given a fraction of the rights that are their natural birthright anyway?!!

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